Just like in other sports, the focal point of your daily fantasy baseball lineups will be your high-salary studs. These guys take up by far the biggest chunk of your cap space, but they also offer the highest ceiling. And in the case of pitchers, the high-salary options typically come with the highest floors, too.
For hitters, we're looking for guys with big numbers, strong matchups, and with players around them that are likely to produce, as well, increasing our chances for runs and RBI. For pitchers, we want big strikeout numbers, while the ability to go deep in a game and pick up a win is also valuable.
With your high-salary picks playing such a big role in your lineup, you need to be right on these guys, so let's take a look at a few top-end options you can count on to anchor your lineup today.
Jose Berrios, SP, Toronto Blue Jays ($9,300)
We once again have a boatload of pitching options to consider tonight.
Many folks may think about rostering Max Scherzer against the Washington Nationals (his old mates), but an option I like better is Jose Berrios of the Toronto Blue Jays. There's no denying that the Texas Rangers, who Berrios goes up against, have improved their roster significantly this offseason with the likes of Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. But this was a very bad offense a season ago -- reflected in their .291 wOBA and 23.2% strikeout rate a season ago.
Berrios, meanwhile, was outstanding in 2021. Spanning 192 innings, he recorded a 26.1% strikeout rate and 5.8% walk rate. His 19.2% swinging-strike rate was the best mark of his entire major league career. The dude is a bonafide ace.
Per our model, Berrios, not Scherzer, is the slate's number-one arm. We project the Jays' righty for 34.5 FanDuel points. The Rangers should be better than they were last year, but I still love Berrios in this spot.
Matt Olson, 1B, Atlanta Braves ($3,700)
While the Atlanta Braves, coming off their World Series win a year ago, had a bit of an inauspicious start to get things going with an Opening Day loss, they will look to rebound today.
One person who is sure to be at the center of the lineup is the newly acquired (and extended) Matt Olson. The Braves clock in with a very high team implied team total (5.12 runs), one of two teams that currently sport a mark over 5.0. That's likely thanks to the fact that Reiver Sanmartin, who owns 11 2/3 career innings to his name, gets the start for the Cincinnati Reds today. Sanmartin does induce a decent amount of ground balls, but he should have his hands full against a solid Atlanta lineup.
Mike Trout, OF, Los Angeles Angels ($4,200)
Death. Taxes. Me getting overhyped on a Mike Trout season. It's just science, y'all.
Alright, hear me out. Trout is part of an offense with the best implied team total of the night, primarily driven by their matchup against the Houston Astros' Jake Odorizzi. The right-hander was very mediocre in 104 2/3 innings pitched last season, tossing his way to a 4.82 xFIP while allowing 1.38 home runs per nine.
While Trout was on fire early last season, a calf injury derailed him outside of that first month. Look for him to find that form over a full season, beginning with tonight's contest.
Matt Kupferle is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matt Kupferle also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username MKupferle. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.